Provincial curling live: Scheidegger steals to win Alberta title

Casey Scheidegger shoots a stone during the 2017 BOOST National in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts field filled up fast Sunday with the conclusion of women’s provincial curling championships across Canada.

Jennifer Jones won her record eighth Manitoba title while Casey Scheidegger captured her first in Alberta. Both fell behind late but managed to secure their spots at nationals.

Here’s all the action that went down:


Jump to: Alberta | Manitoba | Northern Ontario | Nova Scotia | Ontario | Quebec | Yukon | Scotties Tournament of Hearts lineup | Tim Hortons Brier lineup


ALBERTA

Lethbridge’s Casey Scheidegger captured her first Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties title stealing in the extra end to edge Shannon Kleibrink of Okotoks 8-6 in Sunday’s final in Medicine Hat.

Scheidegger broke a 1-1 tie hitting and sticking around for two points in the third and stole one in the fourth to extend her lead. Kleibrink got a deuce in five to close within one.

Scheidegger wanted to blank the sixth, but again like in the first end, landed on the nose and settled for a single to make it 5-3.

Kleibrink matched with a hit and stick in seven to narrow the gap back to one point and stole her way into the lead taking two in the eighth when Scheidegger came up light on her last.

Scheidegger held the hammer in the 10th and hit Kleibrink’s shot rock but missed the other one. Out came the measuring stick and Scheidegger ended up with a single to force the extra end.

After Scheidegger made a great one on her last to nudge her rock over for shot stone under cover, Kleibrink was unable to eliminate it and conceded the title.

It was also the first Alberta title for vice skip Cary-Anne McTaggart and second Jessie Scheidegger, Casey’s sister, while lead Kristie Moore collected her third.

Earlier Sunday, Kleibrink stole a point in the 10th end to edge Calgary’s Chelsea Carey 7-6 during the semifinal.

The 2016 Alberta and Canadian champion Carey started with the hammer and led 4-2 at the midway mark drawing for deuces in the second and fourth ends while forcing Kleibrink to singles in three and five.

With shot rock a question mark in a crowded house during the sixth, Carey looked to land her last on the lid but clicked off a guard. The chain reaction hit Carey’s rock in the house and nudged it closer to the button resulting in a single regardless.

Kleibrink climbed back with a double takeout to score three points in the seventh to tie it. Carey had one in her pocket in the eighth but couldn’t capitalize as she was wide and light on her last and forced to just the single.

Kleibrink was limited to a point in nine to knot it up again. Facing two on the last rock of the game in the 10th, Carey looked to raise her guard and pull off a double takeout but didn’t get enough curl and only eliminated one.

Carey went undefeated at 3-0 through the triple knockout round but fell to Scheidegger 8-7 during Saturday’s Page playoff A-B match.

Team Carey could still make it to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts through the all-new wildcard berth. The top two teams based on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) who did not already qualify will face off for the spot on Jan. 26. Carey is currently ranked No. 2 on the CTRS.

The reigning Meridian Canadian Open champion Scheidegger finished 4-1 in preliminary play. Scheidegger dropped to the B bracket of the triple knockout following a 9-6 loss to Edmonton’s Val Sweeting but avenged the defeat with a 9-8 win in the B qualifier rematch.

Meanwhile, Kleibrink rocked Sweeting 8-2 in seven ends during the Page playoff C-C game to move onto the semifinal.


MANITOBA

Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones came through in the clutch to capture her eighth Manitoba Scotties title.

The reigning Olympic gold medallist bounced back from a couple dicey late ends to draw for two points in the final frame and defeat Darcy Robertson 7-6 in Sunday’s final in Killarney.

Jones is supported by third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen. Lawes will not play at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts — taking place Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 in Penticton, B.C. — as she joins John Morris for Team Canada’s mixed doubles entry at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Her replacement will be announced at a future date.

The first half of the final was all Jones, who drew for two in the opening end and hit for another pair in the fourth while forcing Robertson to singles in the second and fifth to lead 4-2 at the break.

After a blank in six, Jones got a single in seven to establish a three-point gap.

That’s when the momentum swung in Robertson’s favour. Back-to-back misses by Jones in the eighth, including a jam on a double attempt on her last, allowed Robertson to capitalize with a three-ender to draw even 5-5.

Things went from bad to worse for Jones in the ninth as her last rock sailed clear through the house untouched to give up a steal and fall behind 6-5.

Robertson stunned Jones in the Manitoba Scotties semifinal a year ago but there was no repeat here. With one point in her pocket, Jones pulled off the high-pressure draw into the four-foot circle on her last rock for her second and secure the championship.

Jones topped the Asham Black round-robin pool with a 6-1 record. Her lone blemish came on the opening day of the tournament in a 9-5 defeat to Joelle Brown. A 9-5 win over Kerri Einarson during Saturday night’s Page playoff 1 vs. 1 game gave Jones the clear path to the final.

Robertson went 6-1 through the Asham Express Red group and defeated Brown 9-7 during Saturday’s Page playoff 2 vs. 2 game. Her Winnipeg team advanced to the championship game with a 9-7 victory over Einarson during Sunday morning’s semifinal.

Einarson was on a roll prior to the playoffs going 7-0 to finish first in the Asham Express Red round-robin pool. The 2016 provincial champion from East St. Paul may have another opportunity to qualify for the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts via the all-new wildcard berth. The top two teams from the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) as of Monday who did not win their playdowns — which unofficially appear to be Einarson and Calgary’s Chelsea Carey — will face off Jan. 26 for the 16th and final spot.

Michelle Englot did not need to defend the Manitoba Scotties title as her Winnipeg-based club has already earned a return trip to nationals as Team Canada. Ottawa’s Rachel Homan beat Englot during last year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts final but had to decline the auto-berth as her team is off to the Winter Olympics.


NORTHERN ONTARIO

The third time’s the charm for Sudbury’s Tracy Fleury.

Fleury had fallen to Thunder Bay’s Krista McCarville in the final of the Northern Ontario Scotties during the previous two seasons but pulled through this time around with a 6-4 victory in Saturday’s final at her home club of Idylwylde Golf & Country Club.

Trailing by two, Fleury tied it up with a deuce in the seventh and stole the lead swiping a point in the eighth. Fleury pilfered another point in nine.

It’ll be Fleury’s third trip to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Fleury won the Ontario title in 2012 and became the first to represent Northern Ontario at nationals in 2015 when the region was granted a separate spot.

Fleury is supported by third Jennifer Wylie, second Jenna Walsh, lead Amanda Gates and alternate Crystal Webster.


NOVA SCOTIA

Mary-Anne Arsenault is off to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts once against after defeating Kristen MacDiarmid 8-5 during the Nova Scotia women’s final Sunday in Dartmouth.

Arsenault, who is a five-time Canadian and two-time world champion, topped the round-robin table with a 6-1 record to advance straight to Sunday’s final. MacDiarmid defeated Halifax’s Jill Brothers 7-4 in Saturday’s semifinal.

Team Arsenault also includes third Christina Black, second Jenn Baxter and lead Jennifer Crouse.

Earlier, Jamie Murphy won his fifth career Deloitte Tankard — and third consecutive — after defeating Mark Dacey 9-5.

The Halifax-based team of Murphy, third Paul Flemming, second Scott Saccary and lead Philip Crowell will represent Nova Scotia at the upcoming Tim Hortons Brier.

Already leading 2-1, Murphy pulled away with a three-ender in the fourth followed by a steal of three in the fifth. Dacey took two in the sixth and Murphy added another in the seventh. The 2004 Brier champion Dacey scored a deuce in the eighth.

Murphy posted a 5-2 round-robin record and earned the bye to the men’s final. Dacey also went 5-2 through round-robin play but needed an 11-5 semifinal victory Saturday over Dartmouth’s Stuart Thompson to advance.


ONTARIO

Toronto’s Hollie Duncan is heading to her first national Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Duncan defeated Danielle Inglis’s team from Mississauga 10-7 in Sunday’s Ontario final in Whitby.

Team Duncan also includes third Stephanie LeDrew and second Cheryl Kreviazuk — who both served as alternates for Team Homan at the Scotties and worlds previously — and lead Karen Sagle, who won the Ontario title with Jenn Hanna in 2016.

Inglis downed Auld 8-5 during Saturday’s Page playoff 1-2 game while Duncan beat Oakville’s Heather Heggestad 5-4 in the 3-4 match. Duncan made it through to the Ontario Scotties championship game following a commanding 11-5 victory over Cathy Auld’s Listowel team during Sunday’s semifinal.

Homan won the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts for Ontario last season to earn the Team Canada auto-berth, but will not return as her Ottawa-based club prepares for the Winter Olympics.


QUEBEC

Alma’s Emilia Gagne stole the extra end to upset defending champion Eve Belisle of Montreal 7-6 during the Quebec Scotties final Sunday in Levis.

The team of Gagne, third Melina Perron, second Marie-Pier Harvey and lead Chloe Arnaud fell in the Quebec junior semifinals but are now off to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Gagne went 4-3 through round-robin play and needed an 8-4 win over Roxane Perron in a tiebreaker to qualify for the playoffs. She took two in the 10th end to clip Marie-France Larouche 8-7 in the semifinal.

Belisle went 6-1 through round-robin play to earn the bye to the final.


YUKON

Thomas Scoffin has captured the Yukon men’s championship defeating Jon Solberg 8-5 in Sunday’s final in Whitehorse.

The team of Scoffin, third Tom Appelman, second Wade Scoffin and lead Steve Fecteau will represent the territory at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Earlier Sunday, Scoffin doubled up on Bob Smallwood 8-4 in the semifinal.


SCOTTIES TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS LINEUP

The national women’s curling championship takes place Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 in Penticton, B.C. The winner will represent Canada at the world championship running March 17-25 in North Bay, Ont.

With defending champion Rachel Homan heading to the Winter Olympics, runner-up Michelle Englot’s Winnipeg-based team will return to the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in the Team Canada auto-berth spot.

Team Skip
Canada Michelle Englot
Alberta Casey Scheidegger
B.C. Kesa Van Osch
Manitoba Jennifer Jones
New Brunswick Sylvie Robichaud
Newfoundland & Labrador Stacie Curtis
Northern Ontario Tracy Fleury
Northwest Territories Kerry Galusha
Nova Scotia Mary-Anne Arsenault
Nunavut Amie Shackelton
Ontario Hollie Duncan
P.E.I. Robyn MacPhee
Quebec Emilia Gagne
Saskatchewan Sherry Anderson
Yukon Chelsea Duncan
Wildcard Chelsea Carey vs. Kerri Einarson*

* – The top two teams based on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) who did not already qualify will compete in a one-game playoff Jan. 26 for the wildcard berth. Team Carey and Team Einarson hold those spots although it has yet to be announced officially.


TIM HORTONS BRIER LINEUP

Here’s a look at how the men’s side is shaping up for the Tim Hortons Brier, March 3-11 in Regina.

The winner of the Brier will represent Canada at the world championship in Las Vegas from March 31 to April 8.

Team Skip/Playdown Dates
Canada Brad Gushue
Alberta Jan. 31 – Feb. 4
B.C. Jan. 31 – Feb. 4
Manitoba Jan. 30 – Feb. 4
New Brunswick Feb. 7-11
Newfoundland & Labrador Jan. 29 – Feb. 4
Northern Ontario Feb. 7-11
Northwest Territories Feb. 7-12
Nova Scotia Jamie Murphy
Nunavut Dave St. Louis
Ontario Jan. 31 – Feb. 4
P.E.I. Eddie MacKenzie
Quebec Feb. 4-11
Saskatchewan Jan. 31 – Feb. 4
Yukon Thomas Scoffin
Wildcard March 2*

* – The top two teams based on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) who did not already qualify will compete in a one-game playoff for the wildcard spot.